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10 Benefits of Mentorship for Your Marriage

  • Jen Ferguson
10 Benefits of Mentorship for Your Marriage

If you're married, you’ve probably come to the realization that marriage is difficult at times. Perhaps you feel like marriage is difficult all the time. Wherever you are now, you are not alone. All marriages have their highs and lows, good times and bad times, times of elation and times of despair.

If you’re in a good space in your marriage, it may be difficult to imagine a time when you might need another couple on which to lead you through your next rough patch. If you’re in a not-so-good space, it may be difficult to imagine that another couple has actually had similar struggles and survived with their marriage intact.

But know these two things to be true: you will have hard times and you will need help. God knows this and greatly desires for you to have a community of people around you when those hard times hit. In fact, having community around you isn’t only for the challenging instances! Paul writes in Romans 12:15 that we are to “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” There is often much to celebrate in our marriage relationship, even when there is also much strife that elicits tears.

No matter what marital season you’re in, I’d love for you to consider the benefits of having a mentor for your marriage and to begin praying for God to bring a couple into your life who can come alongside you and your spouse. Not sure what benefits mentorship can bring? Read on.

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1. Somebody knows how and when to pray for you.

1. Somebody knows how and when to pray for you.

God created marriage to be a representation of how Jesus loves the church. Thus, we can surmise just from this that marriage is of extreme importance to Him. We can then deduce if something is important to God, it is also important to the enemy. What God wants to hold together, Satan wants to divide and destroy. There is a battle waging over the integrity and wholeness of your marriage and you need people who will intercede for its vitality and endurance. To let another couple in on specific needs you have in order to sustain your marriage helps you emotionally and spiritually. Knowing someone is fighting for you goes a long way for your mental well-being and it also impacts greatly the spiritual world around you.

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2. You have a sounding board.

2. You have a sounding board.

This is especially important for all of us who are external processors. We don’t know what we really think until we get all our possible thoughts outside ourselves. To have someone listening to us as we process what is happening in our marriage allows us the freedom to explore what we really think and feel without fear of being judged. Your marriage mentors can be safe places for you to express yourself and have them reflect back to you what you’re saying. It is in listening to this reflection that you can sort everything out and judge for yourself what you’re really desiring and needing to do in your marriage.

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3. You have someone who is not just for you, but also for your marriage.

3. You have someone who is not just for you, but also for your marriage.

In the introduction to the book Wired for Love, Harville Hendrix says this:

“Your marriage is not about you. Your marriage is about itself; it is a third reality to which and for which you are responsible, and only by honoring that responsibility will you get your childhood and current needs met. When you make your relationship primary and your needs secondary, you produce the paradoxical effect of getting your needs met in ways they can never be met if you make them primary. What happens is not so much the healing of childhood wounds... but the creation of a relationship in which two persons are reliably and sustainably present to each other emphatically.”

Sit with the idea that your marriage is a third “person.” It has needs that are independent of your needs and your spouse’s needs. One of those needs is to have people who are looking out for you, not only as individuals, but also as your union together.

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4. You have access to wisdom you don't have yet.

4. You have access to wisdom you don't have yet.

Chances are you aren’t filled with all the wisdom you could ever have regarding your marriage. Chances are, also, you are bringing in some lies and baggage from your own upbringing that might heavily contradict the wisdom you need. It is glorious to have at least one couple in your life that can help identify the lies that you need to toss, the baggage in which you need to surrender (and find healing from), and give you the wisdom that will keep you on the right track to pursuing both a healthy marriage and a vibrant relationship with Jesus. Finding someone who has been married longer than you have or people who are at least a few steps ahead of you in a specific struggle can bring so much life and wisdom into your marriage.

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5. You have someone to speak the truth to you.

5. You have someone to speak the truth to you.

Sometimes, you need someone to tell you exactly how it is. Yes, with grace and love, but without the sugarcoating. If we don’t have truth-tellers in our lives, we will grow complacent and stagnate, holding onto mindsets, bitterness, and behaviors that are not fruitful for our marriage or us as individuals. It can be painful to hear, but this is Proverbs 27:17 in action—“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

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6. You have someone who can help you see how your actions may impact your spouse.

6. You have someone who can help you see how your actions may impact your spouse.

Sometimes we think we have the greatest idea and the perfect solution. Having a mentor to bounce these ideas off of can provide wonderful insight into potential ways your spouse may receive your idea or solution. When someone looks at a scenario from a different angle, you get a glimpse of what it might be like to be on the other side of you. This is important information to have so you can tweak your plan accordingly, finding new avenues of compassion and love that you may have overlooked.

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7. You have someone who can help you identify and set priorities.

7. You have someone who can help you identify and set priorities.

You may think your life is running like a well-oiled machine. You may think that if your spouse just changed x, y, or z, things would be perfect. I know I often don’t recognize that I’m running on fumes until I’m completely out of gas. I need people in my life to show me that I am overdoing it and it’s no one else’s fault. Likewise, having a marriage mentor enables another couple to see where there may be problem areas in how you’re setting your priorities and spending your time. Having someone ask you consistently how you are investing in your relationship with each other and with Jesus keeps you accountable for keeping your primary relationships, well, primary.

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8. You have someone who’s tracking your progress.

8. You have someone who’s tracking your progress.

When you’re in a hard season especially, it’s easy to be blind to the progress you, your spouse, and your marriage is making. A marriage mentor can point out where you’ve been and where you are right now, highlighting the positive changes you made, areas of growth where you have excelled, and old behaviors each of you have left behind. These encouraging words of victory are vital to keeping us going. As it says in Hebrews 10:25, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Without encouragement, it is hard to keep going.

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9. You can glean from both their successes…and their failures.

9. You can glean from both their successes…and their failures.

I cannot tell you how many times I have said when I’m meeting with women or in our marriage small groups something like “This is what I did and it didn’t work. Let me save you the trouble.” While it’s true that not all things work for all couples, to know that someone has gone before you and found success or roadblocks with certain tools, mindsets, and behaviors is incredibly helpful in aiding you in your own decisions.

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10. You have a built-in double date!

10. You have a built-in double date!

Fellowship and fun are so important to our relationships, so know that every time you meet with your mentors, you don’t have to have a serious conversation. Creating opportunities to have fun with them creates an opportunity to have fun with your spouse as you all hang out together. So much bonding happens over shared laughter!

Just a note before you go: It’s important that your marriage mentors are in a solid relationship themselves, have a deeply rooted relationship in community, and have solid relationships with Jesus. It’s truly powerful when the men can meet one-on-one, the women can meet one-on-one, and when you can all come together as two couples. Know this as well: your mentor couple will learn from you, just as you learn from them!

Jen Ferguson is a wife, author, and speaker who is passionate about helping couples thrive in their marriages. She and her husband, Craig, have shared their own hard story in their book, Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography and are also creators of the Marriage Matters Prayer Cards. They continue to help couples along in their journeys to freedom and intimacy at The {K}not Project. Jen is also a mama to two girls and two high-maintenance dogs, which is probably why she runs. A lot. Even in the Texas heat.

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